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Conkling Park

Conkling ParkThe Conkling Park community is located on the southwest shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene, within the boundaries of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation, about 30 miles south of the town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The community includes about 260 property owners, 185 single family structures, a restaurant, marina, and boat winter storage areas. It is at risk from wildfire because of the dense forest and underlying brush in and around it, the number of closely-spaced residences within the community, and the wide range of recreational and commercial activities in the area.

The Firewise Communities program was introduced to Conkling Park in 2006 when the Coeur d'Alene Tribe began an informational and educational effort in the community. A team of Student Conservation Association interns hosted by the Tribe's forestry program conducted an educational workshop and contacted individual property owners to solicit interest, complete a risk assessment, and distribute informational literature. As a result, in August 2006, the Conkling Park Firewise Board was established and included several community residents as board members.

Conkling ParkIn November 2006, Conkling Park was officially designated as a Firewise Community. The Conkling Park Firewise Board helped to ensure that the Conkling Park Area Community Association, established in September 2007 to represent single family property owners, included a focus on supporting efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire in the community. The Firewise Board also participated in an assessment and mitigation plan for the community, which was completed in October 2007.

As a newly established Firewise community, much work remains to be done to address the risk and consequences of a wildfire in Conkling Park. Initially, the Firewise Board will be working with residents to develop a wildfire protection plan. It will have several components, including further outreach and education of property owners; organized community activities to improve awareness, protect structures, and reduce fuels; and possible incentives for owners to conduct mitigation activities on their properties. The Board will also be learning from and applying the ideas, experiences, and successes of its fellow Firewise Communities.